Spice Rub Ornaments

I came across this recipe on Pinterest and had saved it, thinking it would make an easy and inexpensive last minute Christmas gift.  I’m glad I did, because I decided to give it a go this year.  Most of the spices I already had on hand and the ones I didn’t I found in the dollar store.  You can follow the link to the recipe, but here are the ingredients and directions:

Here are the 14 spices and seasonings used in this recipe:

  • seasoned salt
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • sweet paprika
  • smoked paprika
  • chili powder (mild, medium, or hot)
  • celery salt
  • black pepper
  • sage
  • cumin
  • cayenne
  • allspice
  • cloves
  • mace

NOTE:  I did not have allspice or mace so they were not included in my version.  They were such small amounts that I did not think it would make too much of a difference.  The original recipe even states not to worry too much if you’re missing one of the small quantity ingredients.

There is one additional ingredient – brown sugar – which the above get added to.  You should spread it out on a cookie sheet for a few hours to dry it prior to making.

When ready, put all ingredients in a food processor and blend.  It’s that easy.

Now……what to put it in?

Purchasing a dozen small mason jars was a just a bit pricey.  I had come across several posts where I saw things such as hot cocoa mixes and bath salts packaged in clear, plastic ornaments.  I thought…..why not the spice rub?

I purchased 8 of them at Michael’s – regularly $1.99 each marked down to .59 cents.  Wow!  I got the medium sized ones which had a decent sized opening in order to use a wider funnel.  The mix isn’t as fine as salt or sugar – it does have a bit of a consistency due to the brown sugar – so it didn’t pour too well through a narrow funnel.

After I filled them, I tied on snowmen gift tags I got at the Target Dollar Spot (package of 8 for $1)  The result:

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Aren’t they adorable? 🙂

I then typed the ingredients onto a plain, white mailing label, trimmed around the edges to fit and affixed it to the back of the tag.

Between the ornaments, tags and spices, I spent under $8 for 8 gifts (I already had mailing labels).  These make a great gift to give to a hostess, client, teacher, neighbor or even a secret Santa or grab bag gift.  Plus, they were really fun to make!

When Life Gives You Apples, You Make Applesauce

Or, in my case, when you realize that the large tree in the front yard that your late father-in-law had planted AGES ago produced apples, your husband steals a sheet, climbs ladder into the tree and shakes it violently until apples fall to the ground for you to peel, core, seed, and boil into sugary, cinnamony oblivion!

Not sure which one of us had the harder part here, but it was well worth it!

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Re-Purposed Meatloaf

The title doesn’t sound too appealing, doesn’t it?  But, I have no other way to describe what I did last night with leftover meatloaf.

Backstory: we make meatloaf two ways in our house – my way, which is quick and easy and hubs’ way which is, well, a lot more involved.  But…a LOT more flavorful.  He makes this delicious stuffing with white bread, carrots, celery, pignoli nuts and spices that gets folded into the meatloaf mixture.  It normally turns out wonderful, except he forgot the egg(s) this time.  As you can guess, the meatloaf didn’t hold very well.  Still, delicious thought.

Scraping what remained from the loaf pan proved fruitless and the loaf was now mush.  As I made my meal plan for the week, I had noticed red bell peppers sitting on the shelf that I had purchased the week before when they were on sale for $.99/lb (normally, they’re $2.49/b).  Okay, great – I can make stuffed peppers with the classic beef and rice mixture until I remembered……..the meatmush, erm…..meatloaf I had from last week.  What if…..what if……?

Ladies and gents, I bring you meatloaf stuffed peppers!Read More »

Pantry Staples Supper

What to make for supper?

Before I got on the stick by creating a supper plan every Sunday evening for the upcoming week, I would be pulling whatever protein we had out of the freezer and toss it in the sink to thaw as I rushed out of the door for the office every morning.  Then at some point during the day when my mind had a chance to wander to cooking, I would frantically search Pinterest for something interesting to do with said protein, only to have to stop at the grocery store either on my lunch hour or the way home to purchase any ingredients I may not have.

Now that I have a plan for the week, I can take stock of what I have and figure out what I can do with what I already have on hand.  Now, I know what I regularly keep as staples may not be what others do, but here’s a delicious example of what I made last night with everything I already had in freezer, fridge and pantry.Read More »

6 Hours Of Standing = A Week of Convenience

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For the last three weeks, I’ve been dedicating Sunday afternoon to ‘cooking-palooza’ – whipping up 4-5 supper dishes and even a dessert or two. No, I don’t have a family of five – just hub and I.  But with the warm weather finally here, the last thing I want to do when I come home after working 8-5 is cook.  I want to get changed and churn out a 3.5 – 4 mile power walk without having to rush it in order to come back home and start whipping out pots and pans.  I want to water my plants, pull weeds or just crash on the couch with a cool drink until it’s time for supper.  Yes, it takes a lot of work and careful planning, standing for 5-6 hours on my feet in the kitchen is worth five days of not having to do anything except fill up a dish and pop it in the microwave.

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